The long-awaited 'Freedom Day' fell in July this year which saw nearly all of the coronavirus restrictions lifted.

Thanks to the rollout of vaccines, limits on social distancing were completely relaxed and the 'rule of six' was gone too.

Nightclubs and theatres reopened their doors and festivals were back and there was no more legal requirement to wear face coverings, although it was still advised.

It wasn't plain sailing though because Covid was very much still circulating, with fans following England's journey to the Euros final in pubs and bars contributing to a rise in infections.

Watford didn't cover itself in glory with fights breaking out in the town centre after the Three Lions' agonising penalty shootout defeat to Italy.

Elsewhere, we saw Watford Borough Council back plans to redevelop Watford General Hospital.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust saw its outline plans for three blocks, including one of seven storeys, unanimously approved.

But to this day, questions remain over how much funding the trust is going to receive to make the much-needed project a reality.

Watford Observer: Approved plans to rebuild Watford General Hospital. Credit: BDP/West Hertfordshire NHS TrustApproved plans to rebuild Watford General Hospital. Credit: BDP/West Hertfordshire NHS Trust

The planning committee were also busy considering another major application in July - this time for a 16 storey tower of flats on the site of Exchange House on the ring road.

Following a discussion, the application was turned down and the applicants have since gone away and won prior approval to convert Exchange House into flats instead rather than demolish it.

Related: Plans to demolish Exchange House and build 16 storey flats refused

Related: Permission granted to convert Exchange House into 97 flats